JOURNAL OF INDUSTRIAL TEXTILES, vol.45, no.5, pp.813-833, 2016 (SCI-Expanded)
A large number of patients suffer from vascular diseases, resulting in the need for bypass surgery. Since there are still limitations in the replacement of small diameter vascular grafts, the need and demand for developing more desirable grafts is increasing day by day. In this study, polycaprolactone small-diameter (6mm) vascular grafts were produced successfully using custom-designed electrospinning apparatus. Radial fiber orientation was achieved by increasing the rotational speed of the collector. The morphological, structural, mechanical, and biological properties were examined. The results show that oriented scaffolds with 2 mu m average fiber diameter provide 1MPa ultimate tensile strength in the radial direction. The pore size area was found to be adequate in the oriented samples required for cell proliferation and diffusion through the tunica media. Invitro biocompatibility of the grafts was proven with 3T3 mouse fibroblasts. After cell seeding, the oriented fibers serve as a cue for radial cell alignment. An understanding of electrospun material parameters together with knowledge of native blood vessel structures and properties is a considerable part in designing small-diameter vascular grafts.